Domestic violence is a complex criminal matter that can break down California families and destroy relationships. Aside from the personal consequences that individuals may face from confronting allegations of domestic violence, men and women who are charged with harming their partners and spouses can face significant and life-altering penalties if they are convicted of their alleged crimes.

A domestic violence conviction may lead to the incarceration of the charged individual and the establishment of a criminal record. The long-term consequences of having a criminal conviction in one’s past can affect that individual’s future employment prospects and financial earning capabilities. A conviction for alleged domestic violence also can impact a person’s individual rights, such as the right to own a firearm, their options for securing custody of their kids, or even their ability to stay in the United States if they are not a citizen.

With such high consequences associated with possible domestic violence convictions, individuals facing such charges can take early and proactive steps to protect themselves. They can choose to select their own criminal defense attorneys and to work with professionals who make it their focus to understand and interpret the state’s criminal laws. A criminal defense lawyer can assist their client with assessing possible defense strategies as they approach trial.

Different domestic violence cases will have their own factual patterns and unique forms of evidence. As such, it is not possible for a domestic violence defendant to know exactly how their case will resolve based on the outcomes of other domestic violence trials. However, criminal defense attorneys who have represented numerous clients facing domestic violence charges have an understanding of how the law treats those facing similar criminal allegations.

It is possible for a domestic violence defendant to prepare and successfully plead a defense strategy during their trial. In some situations, self-defense may serve as an honest explanation for a confrontation between two individuals in a committed relationship. For others, offering proof that an alleged act of violence or attack simply did not happen may provide a persuasive argument to overcome a prosecutor’s presentation of the case.

Criminal defendants, including those who are facing domestic violence charges, have a lot to lose when their cases end in convictions. It is never too early to contact a criminal defense attorney after a domestic violence arrest or charge. The sooner that a defendant begins to collect facts and consider defenses, the more time they will have to prepare a plan to protect their future and freedom.